Anti Social Personality Disorders
Anti Social Personality Disorders
The majority of research conducted on Antisocial Personality Disorder originates from studies of childhood onset of antisocial characterized behavior, co morbidityof substance abuse and the antisocial person, and antisocial behavior as demonstrated by incarcerated persons. Most studies into Anti Social Personality Disorder (ASPD) concentrate only on demonstrated antisocial behavior in children. There is however, a growing interest in the direct causes of ASPD in general. The studies of the latter are, for the most part still in progress.
The reliability of such research demands that it be longitudinal in nature, which also accounts for the lack of published research. The research published to date indicates a strong support of the theory that persons displaying antisocial personality behaviors share common environmental factors. Specifically, there is a correlation between antisocial behavior and children reared in a home wrought with chemical dependency, marital problems, and abuse. (Luntz, Widom, 1994)Analysis of the research conducted concerning a causal relationship between genetics and ASPD requires knowledge of the role of the refrontal cortex of the brain in respect to behavior.
The prefrontal cortex contains gray and white matter, and is the portion of the brain thought to be essential to the processes of fear conditioning, regulation of arousal, and in the ability to reason. (Raine, et al. 2000) Current research is beginning to show a link between damage to the prefrontal cortex and the acquiring of behaviors characteristic of ASPD. The suggestion this research makes open the door to additional research into the differences in prefrontal cortex of people with lifelong ASPD, and people without ASPD.
A study designed to measure prefrontal gray and white matter in subjects with ASPD was conducted by the University of Southern California, and led by Dr. Adrian Raine. To discern if it is common for persons with ASPD to have defects in the prefrontal cortex, the volume of such was measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The study included four groups, 1 of persons having ASPD, 1 including only healthy non-ASPD subjects, 1 group of substance dependent individuals, and 1 group of psychiatric controls.
The groups were comprised of men that were closely related in respect to social class, age, economic status, intelligence, and ethnicity. “The ASPD group showed an 11. 0% reduction in prefrontal gray matter volume” (Raine, et al, 2000) when compared to the control group, and an increased reduction of 2. 9% in comparison to the substance-dependent group. These results are good indicators of the position that a deficit of volume of the prefrontal gray matter significantly influences and may even encourage antisocial behavior.
While research into the possibility of a relationship between genetics and ASPD must be biological, research into possible relationships between environment and ASPD must be sociological and psychiatric. One study attempted to link environmental factors to ASPD by assessing how much a person’s risk for having ASPD increases as the result of being neglected or abused as a child. The Luntz and Widom study consisted of two groups, one comprised of abused and/or neglected children, and one comprised of non-abused non-neglected children (control group).
All children were chosen from the same age, sex, race, and similar social class. The study followed both groups into young adulthood. Interviews and assessments were conducted using the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Diagnostic Interview Schedule. The NIMH diagnostic interview is based on the DSM-IV criteria. The results of such interviews and assessments indicate that the abused/neglected children had a higher prevalence of ASPD in relation to the control group. The ASPD group shared common environmental factors such as, race, sex, social class, and abuse or neglect.
The conclusion of this study indicates that childhood abuse is a noteworthy predictor of ASPD. This research shows evidence in support of environmental factors shared among those with ASPD. Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder frequently lack empathy and tend to be callous, cynical, and contemptuous of the feelings, rights, and sufferings of others. They may have an inflated and arrogant self-appraisal (e. g. , feel that ordinary work is beneath them or lack a realistic concern about their current problems or their future) and may be excessively opinionated, self-assured, or cocky.
They may display a glib, superficial charm and can be quite voluble and verbally facile (e. g. , using technical terms or jargon that might impress someone who is unfamiliar with the topic). Lack of empathy, inflated self-appraisal, and superficial charm are features that have been commonly included in traditional conceptions of psychopathy and may be particularly distinguishing of Anti Social Personality Disorder in prison or forensic settings where criminal, delinquent, or aggressive acts are likely to be nonspecific. These individuals may also be irresponsible and exploitative in their sexual relationships.
Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder Antisocial personality disorder is diagnosed when a person’s pattern of antisocial behavior has occurred since age 15 (although only adults 18 years or older can be diagnosed with this disorder) and consists of the majority of these symptoms:
* Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest * Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure * Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults * Reckless disregard for safety of self or others * Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations * Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another As with all personality disorders a person must be at least 18 years old before they can be diagnosed with it.
There should also be evidence of Conduct Disorder in the individual as a child, whether or not it was ever formally diagnosed by a professional. ASPD is more prevalent in males (3 percent) versus females (1 percent) in the general population. Like most personality disorders, antisocial personality disorder typically will decrease in intensity with age, with many people experiencing few of the most extreme symptoms by the time they are in the 40s or 50s. How is Antisocial Personality Disorder Diagnosed?
Personality disorders such as antisocial personality disorder are typically diagnosed by a trained mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Family physicians and general practitioners are generally not trained or well-equipped to make this type of psychological diagnosis. So while you can initially consult a family physician about this problem, they should refer you to a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. There are no laboratory, blood or genetic tests that are used to diagnose ASPD. Many people with antisocial personality disorder don’t seek out treatment.
People with personality disorders, in general, do not often seek out treatment until the disorder starts to significantly interfere or otherwise impact a person’s life. This most often happens when a person’s coping resources are stretched too thin to deal with stress or other life events. A diagnosis for antisocial personality disorder is made by a mental health professional comparing your symptoms and life history with those listed here. They will make a determination whether your symptoms meet the criteria necessary for a personality disorder diagnosis. Causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder
Researchers today don’t know what causes antisocial personality disorder. There are many theories, however, about the possible causes of antisocial personality disorder. Most professionals subscribe to a biopsychosocial model of causation — that is, the causes of are likely due to biological and genetic factors, social factors (such as how a person interacts in their early development with their family and friends and other children), and psychological factors (the individual’s personality and temperament, shaped by their environment and learned coping skills to deal with stress).
This suggests that no single factor is responsible — rather, it is the complex and likely intertwined nature of all three factors that are important. If a person has this personality disorder, research suggests that there is a slightly increased risk for this disorder to be “passed down” to their children. Treatment of Antisocial Personality Disorder Treatment of antisocial personality disorder typically involves long-term psychotherapy with a therapist that has experience in treating this kind of personality disorder.
Medications may also be prescribed to help with specific troubling and debilitating symptoms. Antisocial patients who seek help (or are referred) can be offered evaluation and treatment as outpatients. Patients can be offered an array of services, including neuropsychological assessment, individual psychotherapy, medication management, and family or marital counseling. Unless the person risks harming their self or others, hospital care is not needed.
In fact, people with ASPD can be disruptive in inpatient units — for example, becoming belligerent when their demands are unmet or using manipulation to gain favors. (Black, 2006) The considered research shows a link between childhood behaviors being indicative of adult antisocial behavior. It is presumable that only when the common environmental factors among persons with ASPD are defined that the causes of the disorder will be clear. The ultimate aim of research of ASPD is to find out what causes it so that it can one day be treated, or possibly prevented.
The research consulted also highlights the possibility that genetics play a role in the cause of ASPD. This writer suggests the use of biological variables in combination with environmental factors, to attain more productive research results. It is crucial to point out that there is a need, in both the psychiatric and criminal disciplines among others, for more general research of ASPD. If such research is to yield accurate results, it is necessary for this research to be longitudinal and prospective rather than retrospective.
Subject: Mental disorder,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 17 December 2016
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